BOZEMAN, Mont. - Montana State held their Blue vs. White scrimmage on Friday night and are now gearing up for their first games of league play this weekend down in Idaho.
Coming off an impressive run to nationals last year, Bobcat hockey is poised to go even farther this year. Nearly making it to the semi-finals a season ago, the team now has the experience and confidence to make it to the finals. First opponents in their way are Colorado Mesa and Boise State this weekend.
In addition to the success on the ice, Senior center Ryan Perius says this is a tight-knit group that has turned into a family. Perius was granted a sixth year of eligibility due to covid, and is glad to still be able to play hockey for the school and community he loves.
"I'm just happy to be here at Montana State. I love Bozeman, I love the community, I love playing in front of our fans, I love wearing the Bobcat logo and representing our school," said Perius.
MSU Hockey isn't a scholarship program, so the members of the team do it for the love of the game. That doesn't mean it's much less of a workload. With practice three times a week and normally 2-3 games on the weekend, it has all the demands of any other sport. Perius said he didn't come to MSU necessarily looking to play hockey, but joined the program and it's been everything he wanted; Competitive, highly skilled, and he has met his best friends through the team.
He said his favorite memory was his second year when they made it to regionals as the lowest seed. They went down 3-1 to Boise State going into the third period and miraculously came back to win 4-3 with 0.2 seconds on the clock. They went on to win regionals and made nationals down in Dallas for the first time in program history. Hopefully they can make more memories like that this season on the ice.
MSU plays their home games at Haynes Pavilion at the fair grounds in Bozeman. Their schedule can be found on their website here.